Flynas, the Saudi Arabian national carrier, announced the launch of daily non-stop flights from Jeddah’s King Abdulaziz International Airport to Cairo International Airport Terminal 1 from June 1st, 2014 as part of its expansion plans within Egypt. With the launch of Cairo, Flynas becomes the only foreign carrier serving 7 destinations within the country. This announcement was made at a press conference in the Egyptian capital, attended by key executives of the airline and local media, followed by a gala dinner at the JW Marriott Cairo, Mirage City.
The launch coincides with the arrival of flight XY452 in Cairo at 16.55 (Egypt local time), with the return flight to Jeddah scheduled at 17.55 (Egypt local time). Flights will be operated using an Airbus A330 (12 seats in Business Class, 24 in Economy Plus, and 291 in Economy Class) and A320 (8 seats in Business and 156 in Economy). Passengers in all classes will have generous hold luggage in addition to free onboard meals.
Commenting on the successful launch of Flynas’ seventh destination in Egypt, Bander Al Mohanna, Deputy CEO of NAS Holding said: “The launch of daily flights to Cairo is a key milestone given the strong demand for both inbound and outbound traffic between Egypt and Saudi Arabia. I would like to express our deepest appreciation and gratitude to the Ministry of Aviation, Ministry of Tourism, Civil Aviation Authority and Cairo International Airport for their tremendous efforts and support in making this possible.”
The addition of Cairo expands Flynas’ existing Egyptian route network of Alexandria, Assiut, Sohag, Luxor, Sharm El Sheikh and Aswan, making it one of the biggest regional players serving Egypt. Flynas currently operates 44 flights per week, which are expected to increase to 51 by end of this year.
Al Mohanna added, “The two countries enjoy historically strong bilateral ties in the spheres of financial investment, education, tourism, the labor market and trade. The city of Cairo provides unique opportunities for us as a regional airline and we have been keen to operate this route for quite some time.”
Trade ties between the two countries have grown from strength to strength in recent years. It is estimated that current trade investments from Saudi Arabia to Egypt are at $5.4 billion and expected to increase to $6.2 billion.
Saudi Arabia is home to nearly 2 million Egyptians who live and work in the Kingdom across a number of different sectors. In addition, more than 1 million Egyptians travel to Saudi Arabia annually on pilgrimages for Hajj and Umrah, making it one of the largest religious tourism markets in the world. Egypt in turn continues to be popular among Saudis, from both a tourism perspective and as a higher education destination for students.
“We have decided to deploy an Airbus A330 and A320 aircraft on the Cairo route because we consider it to be a strategic destination for Flynas. This means that we will be able to accommodate greater passenger numbers and provide a more comfortable onboard experience,” said Sherif Amer, Director of Sales at Flynas.
“Flynas is steadily growing into one of the largest airlines in the region with ambitions to grow even further. We have operated more than 140,000 flights to date, carrying more than 15 million passengers, a number that has steadily grown over the years. Our goal is to transport 20 million passengers annually by 2020,” commented Wael Al Sarhan, Director of Marketing and Communication, Flynas.
Starting in April 2014, Flynas has successfully launched a number of non-stop routes across Europe, Asia and Africa – including London Gatwick and Manchester, UK; Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; Jakarta, Indonesia; Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad, Pakistan; and Casablanca, Morocco – all flying out of the carrier’s international hub in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.